Playing Fantasy Hockey is not for me. But fantasizing about how I would change things if I ran the NHL is.
First of all, there would be a hockey game on television every night. And I don’t mean the NHL package pay station. I mean regular free television. Everyone deserves to be able to watch hockey!
I would yank those stupid NHL commercials during which they show a close-up of only one sweaty non-smiling hockey player against a black background while running some barely audible fuzzy game audio. Why? We all know that the player did NOT just get off the ice; some make-up person misted him with water. So what’s the point? Show player highlights. I’d rather see that than some player I don’t recognize covered in fake sweat looking annoyed.
GoDaddy.com commercials would have to go both ways. Why? Hockey is becoming increasingly popular amongst women. Good for you Danica Patrick, but I’d rather see Alex Ovechkin and Henrik Lundqvist ripping their shirts open.
I would bring back Derek Sanderson. Why? Adverbs, especially the word “tenaciously,” are not used nearly enough during today’s commentary.
Craig Laughlin (whose nickname is Locker) has a nickname for every player. He should have to publish his list of nicknames somewhere. Why? Because it’s to the point now that I am unsure of some of these players’ real names. Example: Is Hanesy really Hanesy or is it Locker’s version of Hanes?
Brian Engblom: I would assign him a new hair stylist. Why? Brian’s a great analyst, with great points of view…but really bad hair.
Sunglasses would be issued for the filming crew of Hockey Night Canada. Why? If Don Cherry’s suits hurt my eyes across the television, I can’t imagine what they do in person.
Jannick Hansen: Sorry Vancouver Canucks. Hansen (pronounced Hanzen) would have to go to Detroit to play on the same line as Johan Franzen. They will have to take turns switching off between Right Wing and Left Wing. Why? So I can hear the announcer say “Hanzen to Franzen” with a Swedish accent. That amuses me.
Miroslav Satan would have to be traded from the Bruins, and his name pronounced the way it’s spelled. The right wing should only be allowed to play for the New Jersey Devils. Why? Oh come on.
Anaheim’s goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Philly’s Daniel Briere (center) need to play either together or against each other more often. Why? Because their last names rhyme and that amuses me.
While on that note, wouldn’t you like to have an offensive line made up of Jarko Ruutu, Tuomo Ruutu and Jordin Tootoo? Why? How entertaining would it be to hear the commentators tripping over plays involving those three at the same time? And while we’re at it, we may as well throw Jonathan Cheechoo in there for a little variety.
Sean Avery. I think Avery is one of the smartest players in the NHL. Any player who can aggravate others to the point of drawing penalties yet keep himself out of the sin bin is a huge asset. I would make him change his name, however, to Uterus. Why? Because I’d like to watch a Uterus wreak havoc with big, strong men for a change.
I would also want a line of ‘Chuks.’ Why? The novelty of it: Imagine a defensive line featuring Anton Babchuk and Johnny Boychuk, with Zach Boychuk at center and Ilya Kovalchuk and Keith Tkachuk as wingers. Of course, former Buffalo Sabre Clint Malarchuk would have to come out of retirement to play net. Believe it or not, there are no active goalies for the Chuk line!
The Columbus Blue Jackets’ defenseman Fedor Tyutin (the y is mostly silent) – would get a nickname – listen up Locker – and it would be Rootin’. Why? Wouldn’t you like to hear the commentator blurt out Rootin’ Tootin’? I know Curly, Larry and Moe would (We Want Our Mummy – 1939).
I enjoy seeing hockey players get their fair share of endorsements – and not just for hockey-related products. I am a big fan of Ryan Miller’s performance in the ‘yo mama’ Amp Energy commercial. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7iJEmXvLr4) I have some recommendations for other hockey players so they can participate in appropriate product endorsements.
Of course, there are the obvious associations: Teemu Selanne for any brand of salami; Sidney Crosby for Maytag dryers; the Philadelphia Flyers and their long locks for Shampoo dePantene; Zdeno Chara for men’s big and tall stores; and Adam Foote for Dr. Scholls.
Johnny Oduya of the Atlanta Thrashers would have to be a spokesperson for Brill Cream. Why? Because what would be better than hearing Johnny Oduya say “A little dab’ll do ya”?
Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Antero Niittymaki would be great at promoting travel to Peru’s Lake Titicaca. Why? Say it outloud. Together. Please?
Since I am now the self-proclaimed Commissioner of the PNHL (Pretend National Hockey League), I can’t take that responsibility lightly. Input from fans, players and management will be considered with utmost importance and urgency. But right now, Henrik “King Henry” Lundqvist and Alexander “Great Eight” Ovechkin are here to ‘audition’ for the GoDaddy commercials.
Hold my calls.
© K. S. Brooks 2010